How to maintenance your Bushcraft Knife handle
Wether you have a Custom handmade knife, or a factory made knife, you have to take care of your knife. Especially if you are into Bushcrafting, which is a though genre for knives. Therefor I will here share some tips on how to keep your knife handle in tip-top condition. (more article will come, covering other topics so stay tuned in)
Before we get into it, Thank you for your time!
(In the picture above is my Bushcrafter v1, with a walnut wood handle)
When you are out in the woods and using your knife, there most certainly will come all sorts of dirt, sap, water and much more on the knife. This is especially tough on the blade, but also the handle will take some abuse.
If your knife has a wooden handle, you want to keep it well oiled at all time. If your wooden handle is well oiled, it will last you a lifetime!
For almost all woods, I'd use Boiled Linseed Oil. You can get this in small cans, or in big buckets for next to nothing. So no excuse there, to not get some Linseed Oil!
If there is dirt on the handle I would wipe it of with a dry towel, and then apply a thin layer of oil to the handle. If the wood sucks the oil up quickly I'd apply several layers. I'd let the oild soak in for a few minutes, then wipe it clean with a pice of cloth. (BE carefull when using Linseed Oil, it can catch fire by itself if left to dry in a towel. So dispose the used towel or cloth right after use) Danish Oil is also a good choice for wooden handle care.
If you have gotten Linseed Oil on the steel of the blade, wipe the steel clean, you might want to add some WD40 to a towel, and then use the towel of the steel. The Linseed Oil will otherwise dry up on the steel and it can make the knife feel sticky.
(In the picture above, two Bushcrafter v1's. One is with a green micarta handle(left). And the other is with walnut wood(right).)
For Micarta, G10, and other "plastic" handles, It is often just fine to clean up the handle with lunken warm water/(soap-water) and carefully rinse of any dirt on the knife. Keep in mind if you use soap, you also have to reapply some oil or wax to the steel to keep it from rusting. (I'll will cover the blade maintenance in another article.) Then after you've rinsed the handle, I would hit it with some WD40 and wipe it dry with a towel.
Now your handle should be all ready for your next trip into the woods, fields, mountains, or were ever you take your knife. Thank you for reading along. I will cover much more in other articles so stay tuned in. I am very open to criticism, so hit me!
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Cheers, have a wonderful day!
- Mikkel Hvedegaard